Akagera National Park
Akagera lies on the eastern border of Rwanda, making it easy to visit and admire the wildlife – from lion to rhino – that now calls this beautiful savannah and wetland home.
Widely considered to be one of the most scenic parks in central-eastern Africa, Akagera’s extraordinary biodiversity ranges from impressive herds of herbivores that graze the open plains to rare and elusive birds that frequent the swamps. Following lion and rhino reintroductions, Akagera now boasts thriving populations of these, as well as elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and leopard, while the waterways teem with hippo and enormous crocodiles.
Akagera comprises a spectacular open expanse of wilderness and wetlands and lakes – in fact, a third of the 1,200 km² Park is dominated by water, making it the largest protected wetland in eastern-central Africa. Birders can seek out several Lake Victoria-endemic species including the red-faced barbet and papyrus gonolek.
Where We Are
Akagera is located two hours’ drive (110km) from Kigali, in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, on the Tanzanian border.
Self-drive access is through the Southern entrance and Mutumba Gate. They are the main points of access to the park. Also accessible by scheduled or charter helicopter. 4×4 vehicles recommended in the wet season.
Thanks to reintroductions of lion (2015), eastern black rhino (2017) and southern white rhino (2021), and good management, wildlife in Akagera is thriving.
Where to Stay
Visiting Akagera National Park is one of the best ways to support communities, wildlife conservation and the long-term success of Africa’s wild areas. Choose from the different accommodation options available below and enjoy a spectacular wildlife experience.
Ruzizi Tented Lodge
A tented eco-lodge overlooking Lake Ihema, the largest lake in Akagera National Park, Ruzizi Tented Lodge is perfectly poised to explore the park’s southern sector by foot, boat or vehicle. *Akagera-managed Facility
Karenge Bush Camp
Set on a ridge overlooking Akagera’s wildlife-rich northern plains, Karenge’s incredibly scenic location in the remote north adds depth to any visit to the park. *Akagera-managed Facility
Four campsites offer basic facilities for overnight stays. Muyumbu and Shakani campsites are in the south, Mutumba Campsite is more central, and Mihindi Campsite is located near Lake Mahindi in the northern sector. *Akagera-managed Facility
Intimate Magashi is set on the shores of Lake Rwanyakazinga – home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, large crocodiles, and (hidden within its wetlands) the secretive sitatunga and shoebill stork.
Mantis Akagera Game Lodge
Akagera Game Lodge stands on a hill at the southern tip of Akagera National Park elevated above the savannah, offering a bird’s-eye view and exceptional views of Lake Ihema.
Akagera is a convenient and beautiful park to visit. It can be a short getaway for those living in Rwanda, a fascinating combination with Nyungwe National Park, or an easy add-on before or after visiting the gorillas.
Despite being relatively small, Akagera is home to an impressive array of wildlife. Since 2010, when African Parks was invited to manage the park, wildlife numbers have rebounded dramatically.
Akagera remains a relatively undiscovered gem, so enjoy excellent wildlife sightings without the crowds.
*All activities are located in the south of the Park.
Take a Day to Explore
Akagera is a self-drive park, so day visitors can explore at their own pace in their own vehicles, from 6:00 to 18:00 daily.
Available For: Day Visitors
Guided Game Drives
Self-drivers can be accompanied by a Community Guide on a game drive. At Karenge in the north, guides are available on request and at extra cost; other overnight guests can book drives led by freelance guides at Reception.
Boat Excursions on Lake Ihema
A boat trip on Lake Ihema is wildlife and bird viewing from a different point of view. Trips are scheduled at 7.30am, 9am, 3pm and 4.30pm. Private trips can also be arranged at other times.
Spend a relaxing day fishing from the shores of Lake Shakani, then cook your catch over an open fire at the campsite. Note that guests need to bring their own equipment.
Behind The Scenes
For more insight into Akagera, take a tour of Park Headquarters, meet the people and learn about their incredible conservation work. This activity is ideal for educational groups, or special interest travellers but open to all (minimum numbers apply).
For overnight guests, a sunset departure for a guided night drive adventure is an ideal way to end your day and is your best chance of seeing nocturnal wildlife. The safari vehicle, with a pop-up rooftop, can take a maximum of seven guests.
Enjoy an exclusive walking safari, guided by experienced guides, getting close to nature’s intricate details, while experiencing Akagera’s vast picturesque landscapes.
Walk the Line
Spend the morning with a fence attendant who walks the 120km fence line daily. This 7km walk follows the fence outside the park into the hills, ending on a ridge with spectacular views all around. (Approx. 2hrs)
Community Cultural Experiences
In collaboration with the community and Akagera, Community Freelance Guides share some cultural experiences, such as visiting a dairy farm – to learn about traditions around cattle and milk in the Eastern Province – a banana-beer maker or a honey cooperative. Revenue is shared with the community members visited.